Fayetteville, Arkansas- On behalf of the Native American Agriculture Fund, I am absolutely thrilled to offer my complete support of Dr. Jewel Bronaugh to serve as Deputy Secretary of USDA. Her nomination to serve as Deputy is truly historic – she will be the first African American woman to serve in that capacity. More importantly, Dr. Bronaugh is beyond well-equipped to serve.
Dr. Bronaugh is an accomplished leader on many levels. Serving as Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Dean of the College of Agriculture at Virginia State University are significant roles within the agriculture sector and positions not often held by women or women of color. She led the Virginia Farm Service Office in the Obama-Biden administration which gives her a very strong knowledge of the financial issues and stress facing the nation’s farmers and ranchers. Her nomination excites me because we share a commitment to engaging our next generation of agriculture producers. She also understands the importance of access to food within vulnerable communities. Her leadership is inspiring, and I cannot wait to help her in any way I can.
To those who say that previous administrations have not gone far enough to address issues of racial inequity and systemic problems within USDA, or who think that the leaders selected by our President and Vice President-elect aren’t going to push hard enough for change, I say this: let’s get behind our new team – get them confirmed – and get involved in doing what it takes to help create the future we all want to see. We all have a lot of work to do. I am very excited to support Dr. Bronaugh. I know she and Secretary Vilsack will give it their all.